Showing 15 comments
We attended the Christmas Show two weeks ago, and the organ was played before, during, and after the show. The two organists are forced to play a prearranged medley, and this limits what they can do. Dick Leibert was the best!
I got hooked on theater organs and film history after hearing Dick Leibert play an intermission one Friday evening during the Christmas season of l963. He really knew what he was doing. So did Ray Bohr.
My understanding is that the organ console was removed in l939 to make more seating space available for showings of Gone With the Wind. The cable was cut and the console put backstage with the pedal board thrown on top. I have a photo of it in this condition which I took in l962 during the period when the theater was closed. Manager Clye Hawkins graciously let me in to take a few pictures.
Bill Barger and friends reattached the cable to the console in l965 so that it could be played for a Barbershop Quartet show. The Chattanooga Times photo shows that there were in fact no stop tabs on the console. I think Bill had to register it with the crescendo pedal.
The console was placed in a niche under the house left box seats and remained there until the console was rebuilt in the l990’s.
Many thanks to the present crew who looks after the instrument.
Does anyone know if Dick Leibert played at this theater before he went to the Brooklyn Paramount?
My wife and I lived in Atlanta between l966 and l968, and we went regularly to the Fox to hear Bob VanCamp play the beautiful Moller pipe organ between film screenings. What a magnificent sound.
Thanks for the comments about Leibert. Could you contact me at
Yes Joshua, I’m from Chattanooga.
This is not correct. The Martin Theater was once called the State Theater and had been a movie house for decades. I saw films there in the l940’s and l950’s. I think that it had been a vaudeville theater at one time.
This can’t be right. I am a native of Chattanooga and worked at the Brainerd over Christmas vacation in l960. I think that the theater had been around for several years before that. It is true, however, that this theater showed Cinerama.
Radio City’s organist Dick Leibert went to the Music Hall from this theater. Does anyone have information about his tenure here?
Radio City’s Dick Leibert played here for a time. Does anyone know more about his tenure here? Did he play on opening night?
My research indicates that Dick Leibert, famous chief organist at Radio City Music Hall, began his career as a theater organist at Loew’s Palace. Apparently, he became friends with the resident organist, and when that individual needed a substitute, Leibert was called in. Does anyone have additional information about Leibert’s tenure here or his subsequent work with the Loew chain?
Bosley Crowther had the old-fashioned notion that filmmakers had a duty to make films that showed socially responsible behaviors. He believed that it was not in the best interest of the culture to elevate petty criminals to the status of heroes. However, he consistently championed independent filmmakers and urged that outstanding foreign films be imported. He was instrumental in defending Joseph Burstyn in the Miracle Case that led to first amendment protections for films. Crowther’s review of Bonnie and Clyde should be read both in the context of its times and in the context of Crowther’s beliefs.
Many thanks for the information about Dick Leibert.
I am doing a paper on Dick Leibert who was Senior Organist at Radio City for over 40 years. Recollections about hearing him play or any other information about the Radio City organists would be greatly appreciated.